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Last ship leaves Ukraine with grain deal on brink

STORY: One final ship full of grain left port in Ukraine on Wednesday (May 17).

That just one day before Russia could quit the pact that allows exports through the Black Sea.

The United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement back in July.

It was meant to facilitate exports and head off a mounting global food crisis sparked by the conflict in Ukraine.

But the deal is set to expire on Thursday (May 18) and Moscow has warned it could walk away.

That’s unless a list of demands about its own exports are met.

This week Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a lot of open questions remain.

He said contact was being maintained, but decision time was near.

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The U.N. has also said talks continue, but described them as being at a “delicate stage”.

While Russian exports of food and fertiliser are not subject to Western sanctions, Moscow says restrictions on payments, logistics and insurance amount to a ban.

Washington rejects that claim, saying Russian exports are as high as they were before conflict began.